Ryanair and Boeing have just finalized an order for 100 brand-new 737 MAX aircraft, but there's something unique about these planes, dubbed the 737 MAX 200. They'll be cramming up to 200 seats into a space usually occupied by only 175 seats.
This new MAX variant, dubbed the MAX 200 (for its seating capacity) is based on Boeing's new 737 MAX-8, which is the same size as Boeing's current 737-800 model. By comparison, Southwest Airlines' 737-800s are fitted with 175 seats in an all-economy configuration. According to SeatGuru, Ryanair's current 737s have an average 30-inch seat pitch, while the new MAX 200s will probably be 28 inches at most seats.
Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary says this "game changer" aircraft will allow Ryanair to keep its operating costs and fares low, because the operating cost per seat will be twenty percent lower. Ryanair is Europe's largest low-cost carrier, and currently operates 300 of Boeing's 737-800s. Boeing says the high-capacity MAX 200 was developed to meet the needs of a fast growing low-cost sector.
This new order takes Boeing's 737 MAX to 2,550 total orders, and it hasn't even flown yet. The first MAX is expected to be delivered to Southwest in late 2017.
Top photo via David Precious, smaller photo by jbarcena (Flickr / CC Commercial License)
Paul Thompson is a aviation journalist with over 13 years of experience working in the airline industry, who maintains the website Flight Club for Jalopnik.com. You can contact Paul to submit story ideas, your own "Plane Porn" photos, and comments regarding this or any other aviation topic via email at Paul@Jalopnik.com